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222 Paranormal Podcast

All things paranormal With your host Jennifer Shortridge & Joe Shortridge Brother and Sister duo Joe and Jen have been interested in all things paranormal since their childhood. We bring to you our personal experiences, news from the paranormal world and special guests.
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222 Paranormal Podcast
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Now displaying: Page 1
May 12, 2024

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What are wormholes?

The wormhole theory postulates that a theoretical passage through space-time could create shortcuts for long journeys across the universe.

Wormholes are predicted by the theory of general relativity.

But be wary: wormholes bring with them the dangers of sudden collapse, high radiation and dangerous contact with exotic matter.

We asked physicist Robert Kehoe, some frequently asked questions about wormholes.

Robert Kehoe

Professor, Department of Physics, Southern Methodist University

Robert Kehoe is a physicist currently studying the nature of the accelerating expansion of the universe. He is a lead researcher on the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESO), which is creating a far-reaching map of our universe. His research has also included work in particle physics, including contributing to the discovery of the Higgs boson, a previously only theoretical subatomic particle that allows for things to have mass.

Are wormholes theoretically possible?

A wormhole is thought to be essentially a tunnel from one place in space to another. When you have a massive object in spacetime, it basically creates a curvature of the spacetime in the nearby region.

As you get more and more mass, we expect that that curvature becomes more and more extreme. We think such objects occur in the universe, and they are what we call a black hole, where light cannot escape due to this extreme curvature of spacetime.

We think what happens is, at some point, if the mass of an object becomes large enough, the other forces of nature besides gravity can’t support the matter, and it becomes a black hole. You could think about this as one side of a wormhole.

Could you have a situation in which the curvature is extreme enough to connect up with something analogous on the other side somewhere else in spacetime? Theoretically, that could be true.

Has a wormhole ever been found?

No. We have a substantial amount of evidence for the existence of black holes.  But there's been no wormholes found.  

Are there different types of wormholes?

 There are different theoretical implementations of our theory of gravitation, called general relativity, that would describe wormholes with somewhat different properties. For instance, one of the big distinctions in the types of wormholes that are described are whether or not they are traversable — by that I mean, whether you can go from one end to another.

 

When was the wormhole theory created?

Wormholes were first theorized in 1916, though that wasn't what they were called at the time. While reviewing another physicist's solution to the equations in Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity, Austrian physicist Ludwig Flamm realized another solution was possible. He described a "white hole," a theoretical time reversal of a black hole. Entrances to both black and white holes could be connected by a space-time conduit.

In 1935, Einstein and physicist Nathan Rosen used the theory of general relativity to elaborate on the idea, proposing the existence of "bridges" through space-time. These bridges connect two different points in space-time, theoretically creating a shortcut that could reduce travel time and distance. The shortcuts came to be called Einstein-Rosen bridges, or wormholes.

"The whole thing is very hypothetical at this point," said Stephen Hsu, a professor of theoretical physics at the University of Oregon, told our sister site, LiveScience. "No one thinks we're going to find a wormhole anytime soon."

Wormholes contain two mouths, with a throat connecting the two, according to an article published in the Journal of High Energy Physics (2020). The mouths would most likely be spheroidal. The throat might be a straight stretch, but it could also wind around, taking a longer path than a more conventional route might require.

Einstein's theory of general relativity mathematically predicts the existence of wormholes, but none have been discovered to date. A negative mass wormhole might be spotted by the way its gravity affects light that passes by.

Certain solutions of general relativity allow for the existence of wormholes where the mouth of each is a black hole. However, a naturally occurring black hole, formed by the collapse of a dying star, does not by itself create a wormhole.

 

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